Androcles and the Lion

Androcles and the Lion Part II
The hungry lion who faced Androcles was none other than his friend from the forest.
The hungry lion who faced Androcles was none other than his friend from the forest.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Below is the second part of "Androcles and the Lion."

Androcles was forced to march to a huge arena in Rome.

One soldier said to Androcles, "Your punishment is to fight a hungry lion!"

It was the custom in Rome at that time to entertain the people with battles fought on the sandy floor of the arena, which was circled by rows and rows of seats.

The soldiers took Androcles to a prison under the arena seats. Then they left him alone in his prison cell. Androcles had never felt so scared or so alone. It was a long time before the soldiers came back for Androcles.

Suddenly, Androcles heard a trumpet blast. Then the bars to Androcles' prison were opened. A soldier took Androcles and pushed him onto the field.

Androcles found himself alone in the middle of the huge arena. Hundreds of people were watching him, waiting for the battle to begin. Androcles noticed a large cage at the end of the field. When a lion's roar sounded throughout the arena, the people grew excited.

The trumpet sounded a second time, and the bars to the lion's cage were opened. In a moment, a lean lion bounded out of the cell, roaring with hunger. The people sitting in the arena shouted, "Hooray!" The crowd sounded like a mighty roar to Androcles.

The lion crouched only for a moment, but in that moment Androcles recognized his friend from the forest.

The lion let out another thundery roar and bounded across the arena in three long leaps. He stopped right in front of Androcles and gently lifted his big paw.

Androcles gave a mighty shout of joy. "Lion, you remember me!" he cried. He took the lion's paw in his hand and patted it lovingly. Then the lion rubbed his great head against the young man's shoulder. Androcles scratched the lion behind the ears, just as he had done at home in their forest cave.

The lion recognized Androcles and did not attack him.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The crowd of people in the arena was stunned into silence. They had never seen anything like this in the arena before. As the crowd sat in silence, Androcles and his best friend began to frolic and play. Everyone turned to each other and started talking at once. They wanted to know what this boy's secret was for taming the ferocious lion.

The Emperor, who watched every game in the arena, motioned for the crowd to be quiet. Then he called Androcles to approach him and his royal subjects.

"How did you tame this vicious lion?" the Emperor asked Androcles.

"I merely helped him when he needed help, Your Highness," Androcles replied. "That is why he spared my life."

The Emperor freed Androcles and the lion.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

The Emperor could see that Androcles and the lion were true friends. The Emperor freed Androcles and the lion. The lion returned to the cave in the wild woods, and Androcles became a free man in Rome.

Androcles often went for a walk in the woods to visit his good friend. As soon as they saw each other, they played and frolicked as if they had never been apart.

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